Our Kids and School: Prep Them for What’s Ahead or Let Nature Take its Course?

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Yesterday my son David asked me for a piggyback ride. I gave in to his request, but in my head I was thinking “We don’t have time for piggyback rides! We have fine motor skills work we have to get to!”

My kids are only preschoolers, but already there are expectations set for them by schools both developmentally and academically (for example they are expected to have good fine motor skills and be able to sit down for 20-30 minutes and stay on task) and that expectation will only rise with age.

Also in NYC, four year olds are tested for admission to tops schools and programs in both the public and private schools. To add to that, I recently read an article in the NY Times, which said that subtraction, which was once taught in first grade, is now taught in Kindergarten. So the academic standards for young kids are getting tougher by the minute.

So what should we be doing as parents? So we be focused on what skills our kids should have by a certain age and work actively on those skills at home or take a more relaxed approach towards our kids and education and let nature take it’s course?

Comments

  1. I’m a stay at home for the moment with my 4 year old twin daughters. As their mother, I find myself teaching the basic information that I feel they should know, as preschoolers and those things that will be taught in kindergarten. At first, I was hard on them, one child after explaining once picked up right away and the other challenged my creativity for her intrigue of learning. It seemed as though I was more pressured to have them meet my standards as opposed to what the schools required. My mom, who also had twins, told me to just let them be, don’t force or pressure them, they will just automatically focus, even if it doesn’t appear to me that they are. You know what, she was absolutely correct! I set the stage for learning and I leave them alone, constant reinforcement of fun and healthy play, I’ve found helps to nurture what nature has designed. Developmentally and Academically their motor skills are refined daily. They have long attention spans, practicing writing the alphabet as they play and converse with myself and each other have proven to me that Nature is still the more relaxed way of learning.

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